• unintended pregnancy;
  • adolescents;
  • health needs;
  • sexual health knowledge;
  • nursing interventions;
  • Chinese

Background.  The outcomes of adolescent pregnancy have been associated with health risks such as obstetric complications and depression, and educational risks such as school dropout and reduced employment opportunities. These outcomes arise from a range of needs including perceived health needs, which are the focus of this paper.

Aim.  This paper reports a study to identify the perceived needs of Hong Kong Chinese adolescents following confirmation of an unintended pregnancy.

Methods.  An exploratory qualitative approach was used with a purposive sample of 10 Hong Kong Chinese pregnant adolescents. The study was undertaken during their stay in a non-government organization maternal shelter. Semi-structured interviews were used to explore adolescents’ perceptions of their psychological, social and health needs and the extent to which each of these needs was met.

Findings.  Six major categories were identified within the context of need, of which three were related to health needs: acceptance of the pregnancy; psychological reactions to the pregnancy; and use of contraception and health advice.

Conclusions.  The findings contribute to an understanding of the perceived health needs of Chinese adolescents, in particular those that are culturally determined. Implications for nursing practice indicate the significance of comprehensive health assessments and health promotion strategies to help adolescents increase their knowledge about sexual health and contraception.